The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Northern England and Southern Scotland in 1841

Bothwell Castle

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Bothwell Castle is known as one of the best kept large places in Scotland; and, what adds to the merit of the noble proprietor, he has no particular taste for gardening, and has the place equally well kept when he is absent as when he is resident. The ruins of the ancient castle and the modern house are both situated on the summit of a very high and steep bank, varied by old wood, which slopes precipitously to the Clyde; and the walks down to and along the river are numerous, and, as may be supposed, singularly grand and picturesque. We went over the whole of them in 1804 and 1806, but we could not, on this visit, undergo that fatigue. We were gratified to find, as far as we did go over them, that the style of keeping was exactly what we recommend: edgings not much higher than the gravel, and the grass clipped, but never cut. Where the edgings had got high, we found them being undermined by the spade, so as to reduce them to the proper height. Some dry ground among old shrubs was also being turfed over, a practice which we have had frequent occasion to recommend as a great saving of labour in keeping, and as much more consistent with the age of the shrubs, to which digging is labour in vain, and consequently a dead loss.